This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
November 7 is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 54 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this dayin 1940, Only four months after its completion, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State suffers a spectacular collapse.
When it opened in 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was the third-longest suspension bridge in the world. Built to replace the ferry system that took commuters from Tacoma across the Tacoma Narrows to the Gig Harbor Peninsula, the bridge spanned 2,800 feet and took three years to build. To save cost, the principle engineer, Leon Moisseiff, designed the bridge with an unusually slender frame that measured 39 feet and accommodated just two vehicular lanes.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened with great fanfare on July 1, 1940. Human traffic across the waters of the Tacoma Narrows increased dramatically, but many drivers were drawn to the toll bridge not by convenience but by an unusual characteristic of the structure. When moderate to high winds blew, as they invariably do in the Tacoma Narrows, the bridge roadway would sway from side to side and sometimes suffer excessive vertical undulations. Some drivers reported that vehicles ahead of them would disappear and reappear several times as they crossed the bridge. On a windy day, tourists treated the bridge toll as the fee paid to ride a roller-coaster ride, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge earned the nickname “Galloping Gertie.
680 – The Sixth Ecumenical Council commences in Constantinople.
1492 – The Ensisheim Meteorite, the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, strikes the earth around noon in a wheat field outside the village of Ensisheim, Alsace, France.
1619 – Elizabeth of Scotland and England is crowned Queen of Bohemia.
1665 – The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, is first published.
1775 – John Murray, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia, starts the first mass emancipation of slaves in North America by issuing Lord Dunmore’s Offer of Emancipation, which offers freedom to slaves who abandoned their colonial masters in order to fight with Murray and the British.
1786 – The oldest musical organization in the United States is founded as the Stoughton Musical Society.
1811 – Tecumseh’s War: The Battle of Tippecanoe is fought near present-day Battle Ground, Indiana, United States.
1837 – In Alton, Illinois, abolitionist printer Elijah P. Lovejoy is shot dead by a mob while attempting to protect his printing shop from being destroyed a third time.
1861 – American Civil War: Battle of Belmont: In Belmont, Missouri, Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant overrun a Confederate camp but are forced to retreat when Confederate reinforcements arrive.
1872 – The ship Mary Celeste sails from New York, eventually to be found deserted
1874 – A cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly, is considered the first important use of an elephant as a symbol for the United States Republican Party.
1885 – In Craigellachie, British Columbia, construction ends on the Canadian Pacific Railway railway extending across Canada.
1893 – Women in the U.S. state of Colorado are granted the right to vote.
1900 – Battle of Leliefontein, a battle during which the Royal Canadian Dragoons win three Victoria Crosses.
1907 – Delta Sigma Pi is founded at New York University.
1907 – Jesus García saves the entire town of Nacozari de Garcia, Sonora by driving a burning train full of dynamite six kilometers away before it can explode.
1908 – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are reportedly killed in San Vicente, Bolivia.
1910 – The first air freight shipment (from Dayton, Ohio, to Columbus, Ohio) is undertaken by the Wright Brothers and department store owner Max Moorehouse.
1912 – The Deutsche Opernhaus (now Deutsche Oper Berlin) opens in the Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg, with a production of Beethoven’s Fidelio.
1914 – The first issue of The New Republic magazine is published.
1914 – The German colony of Kiaochow Bay and its centre at Tsingtao are captured by Japanese forces.
1916 – Jeannette Rankin is the first woman elected to the United States Congress.
1917 – The Gregorian calendar date of the October Revolution, which gets its name from the Julian calendar date of 25 October. On this date in 1917, the Bolsheviks storm the Winter Palace.
1917 – World War I: Third Battle of Gaza ends: British forces capture Gaza from the Ottoman Empire.
1918 – The 1918 influenza epidemic spreads to Western Samoa, killing 7,542 (about 20% of the population) by the end of the year.
1918 – Kurt Eisner overthrows the Wittelsbach dynasty in the Kingdom of Bavaria.
1919 – The first Palmer Raid is conducted on the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Over 10,000 suspected communists and anarchists are arrested in twenty-three different U.S. cities.
1920 – Patriarch Tikhon issued a decree that lead to the formation of Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.
1921 – The Partito Nazionale Fascista (PNF), National Fascist Party, comes into existence.
1929 – In New York City, the Museum of Modern Art opens to the public.
1931 – The Chinese Soviet Republic is proclaimed on the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.
1933 – Fiorello H. La Guardia is elected the 99th mayor of New York City.
1940 – In Tacoma, Washington, the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses in a windstorm, a mere four months after the bridge’s completion.
1941 – World War II: Soviet hospital ship Armenia is sunk by German planes while evacuating refugees and wounded military and staff of several Crimea’s hospitals. It is estimated that over 5,000 people died in the sinking.
1944 – A passenger train derails in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico from excessive speed when descending a hill. 16 people are killed and 50 are injured.
1944 – Soviet spy Richard Sorge, a half-Russian, half-German World War I veteran, is hanged by his Japanese captors along with 34 of his ring.
1944 – Franklin D. Roosevelt elected for a record fourth term as President of the United States of America
1956 – Suez Crisis: The United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution calling for the United Kingdom, France and Israel to immediately withdraw their troops from Egypt.
1957 – Cold War: The Gaither Report calls for more American missiles and fallout shelters.
1963 – Wunder von Lengede: In Germany, eleven miners are rescued from a collapsed mine after 14 days.
1967 – Carl B. Stokes is elected as Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, becoming the first African American mayor of a major American city.
1967 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
1973 – The U.S. Congress overrides President Richard M. Nixon’s veto of the War Powers Resolution, which limits presidential power to wage war without congressional approval.
1975 – In Bangladesh, a joint force of people and soldiers took part in an uprising led by Col. Abu Taher that ousted and killed Brig. Khaled Mosharraf. The uprising, hailed as National Revolution and Solidarity Day, also helped Gen. Ziaur Rahman (later President of Bangladesh) to get freed from the house arrest that was enforced by Mosharraf four days ago amid a coup d’etat.
1983 – 1983 United States Senate bombing: a bomb explodes inside the United States Capitol. No people are harmed, but an estimated $250,000 in damage is caused.
1987 – In Tunisia, president Habib Bourguiba is overthrown and replaced by Prime Minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
1989 – Douglas Wilder wins the governor’s seat in Virginia, becoming the first elected African American governor in the United States.
1989 – David Dinkins becomes the first African American mayor of New York City.
1989 – East German Prime Minister Willi Stoph, along with his entire cabinet, is forced to resign after huge anti-government protests.
1990 – Mary Robinson becomes the first woman to be elected President of the Republic of Ireland.
1991 – Magic Johnson announces that he is infected with HIV and retires from the NBA.
1994 – WXYC, the student radio station of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, provided the world’s first internet radio broadcast.
1996 – NASA launches the Mars Global Surveyor.
2000 – Hillary Rodham Clinton is elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first former First Lady to win public office in the United States, although actually she still was the First Lady.
2000 – Controversial US presidential election that is later resolved in the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court Case.
2000 – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration discovers one of the country’s largest LSD labs inside a converted military missile silo in Wamego, Kansas.
2002 – Iran bans advertising of United States products.
2004 – War in Iraq: The interim government of Iraq calls for a 60-day “state of emergency” as U.S. forces storm the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.
2006 – Chicago O’Hare UFO sighting
2007 – Jokela school shooting in Tuusula, Finland, resulting in the death of nine people.